Graziano Pelle has been sent back to his club after he refused to shake the hand of his national team manager Giampiero Ventura after he was substituted in Italy’s draw with Spain.
The former Southampton striker was hauled off yesterday and went straight down the tunnel, ignoring his manager’s offer of his hand.
Italy were trailing 1-0 at the time, but got back in the game with a Daniele De Rossi penalty in the World Cup qualifier.
Ventura himself originally dismissed the action; however the Italian FA have acted.
“These things happen,” said Ventura. “I think Graziano was more angry at himself and the way his performance went than anything else.”
Italy’s travel to face Macedonia on Sunday, however Pelle will return to China and his team Shandong Luneng.
“Manager Giampero Ventura, in agreement with the (Italian federation) FIGC, has decided to exclude Graziano Pelle from the squad for the Macedonia match because of his disrespectful behaviour when he was replaced,” a federation statement read.
“To be part of the national team implies the sharing of common values and behaviour conforming to the wearing of the blue shirt, beginning with respect towards the management, players and fans.”
Pelle apologised on Instagram for the incident, describing his behavior as “unacceptable”.
“I’ve done something stupid. I behaved unacceptably towards the boss (Ventura) and to my teammates, who have always displayed their values in this fantastic group of which we’re part,” he posted on Instagram.
“Every serious mistake inevitably has its consequences and it’s absolutely right that I take responsibility for what’s happened. It’s my duty to say I’m sorry.”